Doctoral student in Biomedical Science, focused on Molecular Studies of Vitamin Effects on the Skin Organ


Ref REK 2022/181

About Malmö University

Malmö University is an innovative, urban and international institute of higher education, located in the centre of Malmö. We have around 1,800 employees and 24,000 students. Our research and education are characterised by the role we believe a university should play in an open society — to contribute to sustainability and equality in a scientifically grounded way with external partners and stakeholders. Identifying and addressing the challenges of the future are of highest priority. Our researchers and students work collaboratively to create, share and spread knowledge in order to understand, explain and develop society — both locally and globally.


The Department of Biomedical Science offers a programme leading to a professional qualification, Biomedical Scientist (first cycle, 180 credits), and a Masters' programme, Biomedical Surface Science (second cycle, 120 credits), as well as first and second cycle freestanding courses. The Department negotiates the multifaceted intersection between biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, and technology and the interdisciplinary approach to research and education aims to further develop the theoretical and practical understanding of the complex subject matter. Drawing on the balance between basic and applied research, the Department has been successful in attracting funding from regional, national, and international research funding bodies. In addition, in the pursuit of possible applications, several industry funded contract research projects are currently running at the Department.

The research at the faculty is also linked to the research center Biofilms - Research Center for Biointerfaces, which combines biomedical science with clinical and translational research in medical, dental, food and environmental application areas in close collaboration with regional industry.

Work duties

Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research, artistic research and administration, however, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post (Chapter 5, Section 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The main goal of the project is to provide detailed molecular understanding of beneficial effects of vitamins on the skin organ and to verify the resemblance of regenerated 3D skin models to real skin.

There is a large need to understand effects of exogeneous substances on skin barrier formation and function, both from biological and physicochemical/pharmaceutical perspectives, preferably in parallel and by combining in vitro/ex vivo methodologies mimicking real skin. A vast number of skin care ingredients have been examined either in clinical settings, in cell models, or by physicochemical effects on the skin barrier. However, translational studies combining all three perspectives are scarce. The aim of the current project is therefore to adopt a holistic approach to skin research with a particular focus on how lipophilic vitamins (retinol, niacinamide) and hydrophilic vitamins (niacinamide, dexpanthenol) affect our largest organ.

The project combines an interdisciplinary team, involving Biofilms - Research Center for Biointerfaces at Malmö University and Oriflame Cosmetics AB, CELLINK Bioprinting AB, MatTek, and Insplorion AB as main partners. The expertise of the team includes clinical sciences and tissue engineering, cell/molecular biology, physical chemistry, pharmacy, and analytical chemistry. The project aims at including work with conventional cell models, 3D skin models, as well as human skin biopsies and the applicant is expected to work with both molecular biology assays together with analytical chemistry methods and physicochemical techniques.

The project has a multidisciplinary approach where various skin models are investigated with several techniques. In brief, the aim is to investigate the effect of vitamins on the metabolic pathways by gene and protein expression assays (e.g., qPCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, western blot, ELISA). The metabolic pathways will be investigated by LC/MS lipidomics aiming at investigating how precursor lipids of the basal keratinocytes are converted into the final lipids of the skin barrier. Furthermore, structure-function relationships between the skin barrier molecular organization and its barrier properties will be investigated to gain understanding of vitamin dose-response relationship on the skin organ. For this, relevant techniques are X-ray diffraction, FTIR spectroscopy, NMR, confocal Raman spectroscopy, Franz or flow-through diffusion cells, electrical impedance spectroscopy. Finally, the aim is to develop method based on nanoplasmonic sensing for evaluating diffusion of vitamins across biological membranes. Considering the multidisciplinary approach of the project, the background of the candidate may be either oriented towards cell biology/molecular biology/biochemistry or chemistry/chemical engineering with emphasis on physical chemistry, surface chemistry or analytical chemistry.


In order to be admitted to third-cycle studies, the applicant must meet the general and specific entry requirements of the subject in question. Moreover, the applicant must be deemed capable of assimilating the education.

General entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes (HEO Chapter 7 Section 39) have those who:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes have those who:

  • comprise at least 90 ECTS, of which 30 ECTS should be at second cycle level, in a subject which is of relevance for the research domain in question or which in some other way involve broadly equivalent knowledge.  

Selection criteria

Selection among applicants who meet the general and specific entry requirements shall be made with regard to their capacity to assimilate the education (HEO Chapter 7 Section 41).


Further information

Dr. Sebastian Björklund, +46 (0) 406657891,

For general questions regarding employment at Malmö university, contact HR-specialist

Ewa-Marie Dahlgren, +46 (0)40 665 79 52,


In our recruitment work, Malmö University has taken a stand regarding recruitment channels and marketing. We therefore decline all offers of advertising and recruitment assistance in connection with this advertisement.


You may apply for this position via Malmö University's recruitment system by clicking on the "Apply" button. As an applicant, you are responsible for ensuring that your application is completed in accordance with the advertisement, and that it is provided to the University no later than September 10th, 2022. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the University can read what is written in the application. If the application is not written in Swedish, English or any of the Nordic languages, the applicant is responsible for the application and its appendices being translated.

The application must include:

  • Completed application form for admission to Research Education 
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Diplomas, transcript of records and other certificates relevant for the position
  • A brief research plan presenting the focus of research and a thesis concept, and how this relates to the specific post (max 4 pages). The research plan must contain an overall purpose, questions that the project intends to answer, an account of the methodological approach, a description of material collection and type of research material and an account of the theoretical framework
  • Independent work at advanced level (including master thesis or equivalent).


Preparation of admission to postgraduate education and employment as a doctoral student take place in parallel. Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle courses and study programmes at a higher education may be appointed to doctoral studentships (Chapter 5, Section 3 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The doctoral studentship is a fixed-term position comprising four years of full-time studies, in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5 Section 7.

Malmö University is a workplace and higher education institution that is characterised by an open and inclusive approach, where gender equality and equal terms add value to our activities.

Malmö University applies salary setting for doctoral students in accordance with a local agreement on salary setting for doctoral students.

Start date

As soon as possible

Union representatives

Désirée Anvir, SACO                     

Carl-Erik Blomberg OFR/Lärarförbundet

Naser Eftekgarian, OFR                

We are looking forward to receiving your application!


You apply no later than 10/09/2022 by clicking the apply button.